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Late in 2001, tough economic times in Buenos Aires mean that Beba, a slim, blond, and privileged divorcée, has no money to pay Dora, a doughy, nearly-silent maid who has lived with her for almost 30 years. Dora breaths in her dignity and resigns. She wants to finish work on her own house, with her less than reliable mate, Miguel. She also looks for a new job. Beba asks her ex-husband for financial help. He demurs. Can Beba adjust to new realities, find a way to pay Dora, and honor her lifetime of service, and can either make a life without the other? Does sisterhood cross class lines? Written by
I haven't seen a lot of Argentinian films, but I have enjoyed immensely the ones I have. This is a great example of the art-house films that are made in Argentina.
Jorge Gaggero was honored not only in Argentina, but at Sundance for this work that he wrote and directed.
It tells the story of a rich woman, Beba(Norma Aleandro, The Official Story), who has fallen on hard times and cannot afford to pay her electric or phone, much less her maid. The Maid, Dora (Norma Argentina in her first role), is trying to build a house on the outskirts of town and needs the money to finish, so she quits to find another job.
Everything is done with grace, as Beba tries to keep up appearances, even as she has resorted to selling cosmetics door-to-door to pay the bills, or in some cases, just to eat. The dance between employer-employee becomes more and more intricate as the power relationship changes.
The ending was a big surprise, but a testament to the love these two women had built up for each other over 30 years.
A superb film.
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